Giving Thanks for the Los Padres

A Thankful Los Padres Ursus
Most of us will celebrate Thanksgiving this week.  While historically Thanksgiving was a day to give thanks for a successful harvest, today it is used to celebrate anything and everything we are thankful for – which is great.  Turkey Day is a fantastic excuse to take some time and reflect on all you have to be thankful for.  Then after that, stuff your face and watch football…..   Kidding aside, we all have much to be thankful for.  The above photo was sent to us earlier this month showing a Los Padres black bear traipsing across a small meadow during his/her daily rounds.  It got me thinking how thankful we all should be to have wild spaces and enough room in the Los Padres for great animals to roam.  Be it the condor, elk, fish, bear or humans; we’re very fortunate to have vast spaces to wander and explore in the LP.  There’s a billion other reasons to be thankful, almost all of them are more important than this one, but it’s really cool thinking of that bear and all his neighbors doing their thing out there right now.


Couple tidbits from across the Forest, if you have anything to add, please send our way:

• The 20th Annual Volunteer Wilderness Ranger Training will be January 23-24 at the Los Prietos Compound, Santa Barbara Ranger District.  Much more information to come but we wanted to make sure you all get it on your calendars.  20 years is certainly reason to celebrate.

• The Mt. Pinos Ranger District has announced their seasonal closures which start today.  See attached document for specifics.

Franklin Trail Fundraiser on December 2.  The Santa Barbara Trails Council is hosting a Happy Hour to help raise funds for the Franklin Trail and thank the Sierra Club for their contributions to the trail.  More information here.

• A cold front is crossing the LP over the coming days.  Freezing temps are expected across most of the forest.  While rain is expected in the northern LP, not much is expected to fall south of the Santa Ynez Valley and Sespe Creek.

• In October, the Ventana Wilderness Alliance headed up an effort to bring Leave No Trace to the Pine Ridge Trail in order to evaluate the impact along the trail and recommend a course of action to help alleviate the impacts.  While out there, LNT came across Flyin’ Brian Robinson, the famous thru-hiker.  He gave a nice short interview on LNT and why it’s important.  Worth checking out here.

• Yeti Coolers released a great short video talking about the Los Padres Outfitters and some of their history between Tony Alvis and Graham.  You can view it here.

• While the Los Padres Charter Sierra Club Condor Call has been out now for a few weeks old, if you haven’t checked it out, it’s certainly worth a read as well.  Click here.

Yes, it’s Calendar Season
Back by popular demand, the LPFA will be producing 2016 calendars featuring pictures of the spectacular sights from around the Los Padres Forest. AND WE COULD USE YOUR HELP. If you have a great photo or two that you think is worthy of being included within the calendar, please send it to We’ll need your name and what month you think it best represents – no need to include the location, we don’t want to spoil your secrets. If we use your photo, we’ll credit you and send you a calendar. Sound okay?

The LPFA produced 4 years of calendars from 2008-2011 highlighting waterfalls. This time around we’re opening it up to anything Los Padres related. Could be an epic sunset, a photo of wildlife, a view from your favorite trail or even a waterfall. If you have something great to share, we’d love to see it. All photos need to be sent and finalized by December 10. We won’t use your photos for anything other than the calendar without your permission. We’ll have information on how to get a calendar by mid-December, just in time for the holidays. If you have any other questions, let us know……. Thanks, looking forward to seeing some great photos.

The window, barely open….. photo Slattery
Happy Thanksgiving everyone and hope you find some trail time over the long weekend………

LPFA Transverse – Thanksgiving, Gates and More

Los Padres from 14,505ft, it’s out there…….LP_Whitney

Lots to be thankful for around the Forest this Thanksgiving time.  Thankful that a new Dick Smith Wilderness sign that we installed was covered in bear scratches after only two weeks in the ground.  Happy that our Forest has ocean views and happy that you can see our Forest from Mt. Whitney.  Thankful that the number of LP Forest volunteers who are certified sawyers has pentupled this past year!  Thankful that so many people are out enjoying the Forest.  The list goes on and on and on……..  Take some time this weekend and think about what you are thankful for.  It’s always a good thing to do.  If the LPFA comes to mind and you’re thankful for what we do, we’d love to have you thank us by joining the LPFA and becoming a member.  Happy Thanksgiving!


The FS is starting to close many of the gates across the Forest. Most of these closures are based on established seasonal closure dates and/or threat of incoming storms. You can see a list of each closed road at the following link and some highlights called out below:

– Mount Pinos has been pretty regular with their seasonal closures over the past few years. Of note this year is that Santa Barbara Canyon is closed at the first gate next to Reyes Ranch. This will add an extra 4+ miles each way for those who are wanting to hike either Santa Barbara Canyon Trail, Cuyama Peak via Dry Canyon or venture up the Buckhorn Rd to the Sierra Madre and beyond.
– Also note that Grade Valley Rd is closed to Mutau, Fishbowls and Cedar Creek amongst others.
– Rancho Nuevo / Tinta Rd was closed at the Cuyama River crossing but will be reopening soon, if not already.

– Dough Flat will close on December 1
– Nordhoff, Pine Mtn and Cherry Creek will all close December 16.
– Potrero Seco is permanently closed.

– We’ve heard rumors that the Divide Peak gate along East Camino Cielo might already be closed and will certainly close this Friday through the first week of December. Rule of thumb, if rain is in the forecast, that road will be closed.

– Nothing of note, but Bates will close if we get any significant rain, we’ll keep you posted.

– North Coast Ridge Rd above Big Sur and Escondido Rd on the east side are both closed.

If you have any additional information to share, please let us know.

L P   C L A S S I F I E D S

Some odds and ends from across the Forest:

– Even though the Los Padres National Forest hasn’t lifted its fire restrictions, some of the State Park managed car campgrounds have.
– Andrew Molera, Pfeiffer Big Sur and Julia Pfeiffer Burns have lifted their restrictions and are now allowing campfires in the campgrounds.

– Ventura based Webelos Den #3179 spent a weekend last month cleaning up trash from Nordhoff Peak above Ojai.
– We’re only showing one photo here, but you should see all the trash they were able to pull out.
– It’s always nice to see the youngsters helping the Forest, certainly another reason to be thankful!

Webelos, To The Hills, photo Craig Carey

Happy Holidays and enjoy the long weekend!

Los Padres Forest Association